Maybe it was the Super Bowl parade the day before. Maybe it was the leftover excitement of Kansas City being a championship winning town again. Maybe it was the extra long off-season. But whatever it was...it sure seems that SKC Nation is ready for a new season.
Thursday night (after moving from Wednesday to allow for Chiefs celebrations) Sporting Kansas City hosted their annual Season Launch Party. This year the event was moved back to Children’s Mercy Park after taking place at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art last year. And boy was it a successful way to kickoff the season. Crowded, but successful.
The beginning of the night offered fans an opportunity to see and purchase the new Swiss Dots secondary kits for the season. It also gave fans an opportunity to sample some of the new concessions options that will be available. There were brisket sliders, brat nachos, tacos, churros, burgers and so many others. Of course there were lots of drinks available for purchase too.
But even more than the abundance of food and drink, there was an abundance of people! The Budweiser Brew House was packed full of fans. There were lines at every food booth, lines at every bar, lines at the Sporting Style area, lines for the bathroom, lines waiting to go through to players appearances. There were people everywhere! The music was pumping. Nate Bukaty and Hartzell were getting people excited, giving away raffle prizes and trying to get people to purchase season tickets. With all the people, it was hard to move around. It was difficult to get where you wanted to go and hard to hear people around you, but it was Kansas City classy. People were nice and just excited to be there, see the team and start the season.
After moving from the Member’s Club to the Sporting Bay (and after a bit of a late start) the broadcast team of Nate Bukaty, Carter Augustine and new to the crew (but not the team) Jacob Peterson talked for a bit. Finally, the players were introduced and the new kits were shown off. Jake Reid and Peter Vermes gave little speeches asking fans to make sure they continued to show up and make Children’s Mercy Park the most difficult place to play. Matt Besler gave a speech that got the crowd pumped. He talked of a Sporting celebration at Union Station and said Johnny Russell would be wearing a kilt and a heavyweight championship belt, Travis Kelce-style. This crowd, that just the day before saw the Chiefs celebrate at Union Station, knew exactly what he meant and were amped up by his speech.
This crowd was big for a Launch Party and they were excited. It sure seems that with the Chiefs season coming to a pretty amazing end, the Sporting Kansas City fans are chomping at the bit to get going. We all only have about 22 days to wait until games matter again and about 30 days until we can all go back to Children’s Mercy Park and be pumped up, cheering and excited to help Kansas City stay a winning team kind of town.